THE HISTORY OF NCAA SOFTBALL
COLLEGE FASTPITCH SOFTBALL
Softball was sanctioned as a sport by the NCAA 1910. The NCAA College World Series ia an annual event. From 1982 -1987, the championship final was held in Omaha, Nebraska, which is also the home of the men’s College World Series.
The championship was then moved to Sunnyvale, Cal., for 2 years. Since 1990, the finals have been played at the Amateur Softball Association’s Hall of Fame Field in Oklahoma City.
Most intercollegiate softball in the USA is controlled by either the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) or the the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Softball is one of only three sports in the NCAA which are designated as women only sports, the others are Field Hockey and Rowing. The NCAA Division II and Division III championships also began in 1982.
The college softball championship starts with Thirty two teams from eight regions competing in a double-elimination round. The 8 winning teams then compete in a double-elimination, round robin tournament to determine the national softball champion.
Over six hundred NCAA member colleges sponsor women’s softball programs. The women’s softball championships are held in divisions I-III. Fast Pitch softball was first introduced as a medal sport at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games in Georgia. It is sad to note that the International Olympic Committee has decided to discontinue both baseball and softball as Olympics sports after the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
MOST athletic scholarships are not “full-ride” they are partial only. College softball is classed as a equivalency sport by the NCAA.